NAJC Statement on the Heartbreaking Discovery at the Kamloops Indian Residential School

The National Association of Japanese Canadians National Executive Board honours the memory of the 215 children who never returned home from the Kamloops Indian Residential School which operated in the territory of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation until 1978. Our thoughts are with the families, all survivors of residential schools and their families, and so many more families who never saw their children return. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission reported that over 3,000 children died in Indian Residential Schools across the country, and many were in unmarked graves. The last school did not close until 1996.

NAJC accepted the invitation of Reconciliation Canada and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society to join a “shared journey of truth-telling, mourning and responsibility.” We will be wearing orange for other actions, and National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 will be another opportunity to show solidarity. We encourage others to show support.

“Take meaningful action,” said Lorene Oikawa, NAJC President. “Canadians must commit to reconciliation and learn more about the history of Indigenous peoples and the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419 is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential school experience.


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